July 2015

Immense House performance by the Heritage Orchestra

by Volker Weber

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Durchwachsen

by Volker Weber

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Meine Erfahrungen mit Windows 10 sind sehr durchwachsen. Hätte ich kein Surface 3, dann wären sie eher schlecht. Auf dem Surface funktioniert alles so wie beworben. Das Thinkpad Yoga 3 Pro aber zickt. Gestern gab es mehre Bluescreens nacheinander.

Ich mag Windows 10. Nicht so oll wie Windows 7, nicht so schizophren wie Windows 8. Auf PCs ein klarer Schritt nach vorne, auf Tablets bin ich mir nicht so sicher. Die Charms sind weg, damit wird es schwierig, bestimmte Funktionen in Metro-Apps zu erreichen. Die Einstellungen etwa findet man bei vielen Programmen nur, wenn man im Tablet-Modus den oberen Fensterrahmen sichtbar macht und dann dort auf den Hamburger-Button drückt. Da habe ich mir einen Wolf gesucht.

Was für mich super funktioniert, since die Office Mobile Apps. Also nicht das normale Microsoft Office Paket, sondern Word Mobile aus dem Windows Store. Ich bin mir aktuell unsicher, wie das lizenziert wird. Auf Telefonen und kleinen Tablets soll es kostenlos sein, auf PCs aber nicht. Da ich Office 365 habe, stellt sich die Frage nicht akut, aber das muss ich noch genauer rausfinden.

Stuff that works :: Apple Watch Activity

by Volker Weber

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When I said, I need consistency, Paul Mooney said something very true:

To which I replied, one can always lead by example. That does not include telling others what to do. Having said that, this is what works for me.

I have set a move goal of 600 calories per day. Last week I maxed out at around 1500. So 600 is quite easy. I have developed a routine that I can follow consistently. I walk to work 8 km at 7 o'clock in the morning, roughly 5 miles for those not on the metric system. This takes about 90 minutes and burns 400 calories at my weight and speed. It also takes care of the 10000 steps that I have set as a daily minimum.

Since I work at home, walking to work means to walk somewhere, buy some breakfast rolls and then walk back. For those who know Darmstadt, I live next to Judenfriedhof and walk around Lichtwiese to Oberfeld and back. Walking 90 minutes also takes care of the 30 minutes workout. Depending on the speed I walk it's between 40 and 60 minutes workout.

With this consistent start of the day (yes, that included Saturdays and Sundays) I have burned two thirds of my active calories, reached the exercise goal and completed a quarter of the standing goal. With this head start it is easy to cross another day off the calendar.

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I could set the calorie goal to 1000 and make it most of the days. But that is not what I need. I need to have a goal that I can consistently reach every single day. That means I don't allow myself to lapse. I do not break the chain!

10000 steps is not enough to reach my weekly goal of 100 km. For that I need about 18000 steps per day on average. Not breaking the chain is necessary, but not sufficient. That is why I put in more, but mostly shorter walks during the day. Currently I do a one hour bike ride towards the evening. That does not count much in the way of steps but it's a nice cardio workout. And it does show up on the move goal.

So far Apple Watch has proven to be the best activity tracker I have tried.

Was für ein Kampf

by Volker Weber

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Ich gebe nicht gerne auf. Aber Windows 10 hat sich gestern wirklich tapfer geschlagen. Die Installation brach stets mit der gleichen, nichts sagenden Fehlermeldung ab. Nichts half, weder die ganze Lenovo Bloatware zu entfernen noch aus einem ISO zu installieren. Am Ende musste ich dann so weit in den Keller, wie ich als Mac-Nutzer schon lange nicht mehr war. Bootfähigen USB-Stick generieren, ins BIOS einsteigen, Secure Boot disablen, alles noch mal von vorn, weil ich nichts von UEFI wusste, außer das es da ist.

Tipp: ISO runterladen, daraus installieren. Wenn das nicht klappt, Rufus besorgen und aus dem ISO einen USB-Stick generieren (FAT 32, UEFI). Und den dann booten. Das spart wiederholte Giga-Downloads.

Aber jetzt habe ich es drauf, das Windows 10 auf dem Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro. Noch funktioniert nicht alles. Ich habe ein paar Devices, die nicht erkannt werden, ich habe eins, das zwar erkannt wird, aber nicht funktioniert, und das Yoga schaltet Tastatur und Trackpad noch nicht ab, wenn es man es "falschrum" zusammenfaltet, ist also als Tablet nicht nutzbar. Aber dieses Level spiele ich heute auch noch durch.

Gute Nachrichten zum Surface 3: vor ein paar Tagen kam ein Treiber-Update. Seitdem läuft es anscheinend problemlos mit Windows 10. Auch Siri redet mit mir. Äh, Cortana. Aber die kriegt dieser Tage den Hals umgedreht, weil sie mir dauernd Dinge aufdrängt, die ich gar nicht wissen will. MSN News, Bing? "Hey, look, a squirrel!" Nein, das drehe ich wieder ab.

[Update] Im Laufe des Tages habe ich dann den zweiten Installationslevel durchgespielt. Jetzt läuft auch das Yoga rund.

Software to remove before upgrading to Windows 10

by Volker Weber

This is the complete list of software that Lenovo recommends to remove before upgrading to Windows 10:

Absolute Reminder, AccuWeather for Windows 8, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Amazon Toolbar, Baidu FM, Baidu JP IME, Baidu PCFaster, BestBuy, BIGFLIX, Books Store, BootShield, Business Contact Manager, Camera Man, China weather, Communication Utility, Ctrip Travel, DailyMotion, Dete, Dictionary, Douguo Cook, Dragon Assistant, Dolby Home Theater, eBay Metro, eMusic, Encyclopaedia Britannica, EM8.0, ENEM, Energy Management, Energy Manager, Energy Manager 1.5, Evernote, Experience the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga, ExpressCache, Extent Game Desktop, f Music, Fingerprint Reader, FishingJoy, Go Movie, Google Chrome, Google Toolbar, Hao123 setting, Haozip + PictureKing, Harbor Story II, Hoop Legend, Hot Pepper Gourmet, Idealife, Ifilter, InstantReset, Intel AppUp(R) Center, Intel Fast Flash Standby (iFFS), Intelligent Touchpad 2.0, iQiyi, Jaran Japan, JJ Poker, Kaspersky Internet Security, Kindle, KingSoft anti-virus, Kingsoft Browser, KingSoft Dictionary, Kingsoft KDrive, Kingsoft Office, KNOWHOW APP centre, KNOWHOW Movies, Leader Tech registration, Lenovo Active Protection System(APS), Lenovo AppShop, Lenovo cloud shield (AT), Lenovo Cloud Storage by SugarSync, Lenovo Companion, Lenovo EE Boot Optimizer, Lenovo English, Lenovo Experience Improvement, Lenovo Games, Lenovo MagicShare, Lenovo Motion Control, Lenovo Motion Control 2.0, Lenovo Motion Control 2.5, Lenovo Motion Control 2.6, Lenovo Passport Service, Lenovo safe navigation, Lenovo Paper Display, Lenovo Password Manager, Lenovo Recommends, Lenovo Settings, Lenovo Settings 2, Lenovo Smart Gesture, Lenovo Smart Update, Lenovo Smart Voice, Lenovo Solution Center, Lenovo Support, Lenovo Transition, Lenovo Transition 2.3, Lenovo TV Player, Lenovo Updates, Lenovo Voice Control, Lenovo Welcome, Lenovo WWAN CM, LenovoAppWiz, LenovoCloudShield, Live TV, Lenovo Voice Assistant (iFLYTEK), McAfee Internet Security, McAfee Security Advisor, Media Show, Microsoft Office Suit (2003, 2007, 2010, 2013), Microsoft Security Essentials, Magic Game, Magic Game - Chess, Magic Game - Paint, Magic Transfer, Netflix, Nitro Pro 8, Norton internet security, OneKey Optimizer, OneKey Recovery, OneKey Theater, ooVoo, PC Care, Phone Companion, Phone Companion 2.0, Photo Service (PrintEase), Photo touch, PhotoDirector, Photoservice Desktop "Photoservice Desktop for DE, Photo Show", Picasa, PlayMovie, PointMMO, PokeTalk, Pokki, Power2Go, PowerDirector, PowerDVD, QQ, Quick Start, R.I.C. (Robust Intelligent Companion), rara.com, Ruyitao, Security Suite, Shopping Lenovo, Sina weibo, Skype, Smart ShutDown, SMB Portal 2.0, StageLight, SugarSync Manager, SUUMO, SymSlient, Taobao Shopping, TCS Bank, Times Online, Touch Games (Lenovo Tycoon, Lenovo Air Hockey, Lenovo Texas Hold'em, Lenovo Roulette), txtr ebooks, USB Blocker, User Guide Common Tool, VeriFace Pro, Windows Live Essentials, Yahoo Deals, Yahoo! Japan, Yamada Denki, Yoga Camera Man, Yoga Chef, Yoga Picks, Yoga Photo Touch, YouCam, ZCOM Haokan, Zinio

And that is only the Lenovo bloatware.

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Sonos + Microsoft Groove

by Volker Weber

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Microsoft Xbox Music has been rebranded as Microsoft Groove, not to be confused with Microsoft Office Groove, the product acquired with Ray Ozzie's Groove Networks. And Microsoft Groove just became available in the Sonos Labs section of music services.

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Here is the cool thing about that. Even without a monthly payment you can add your own tracks to your OneDrive storage and play them. As you may be able to see if you squint your eyes, I have 1.3 TB of free storage available there. And that's the limit. Not 64k tracks like a native Sonos music library, not the 50000 tracks that Google Play Music allows. As I understand it, only your storage allowance limits the amount of music you can store there. Well, that would have been too nice. Microsoft says:

Q: Is there a limit to the number of files I can have in my Music collection?
A: You can store up to 50,000 music files in your collection.

So, it's just another option. You can store another 50k tracks in Google Play Music, and that does not count towards your allowance in Google Drive.

Ein Problem ist aufgetreten

by Volker Weber

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Ich habe heute Nachmittag damit verbracht, Windows 10 auf einem Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro zu installieren. Bei jedem Versuch kam ich bis hierhin. Zwischendurch habe ich mal die Platte bereinigt, geprüft, ob ich genug Speicherplatz habe, die Formatierung des Laufwerks gecheckt. Das Ergebnis war stets das gleiche. Siehe oben.

Wie meinte noch Satya Nadella:

We want people to love Windows on a daily basis. We want to make Windows 10 the most loved version of Windows.

Der Hund will 'ne Wurst haben.

On Windows 10

by Volker Weber

Today is Windows 10 day. You will reads lots of reviews and opinion pieces everywhere. Let me just contribute a short list:

Windows 8 was a disaster. Windows 8.1, or Frankenstein 8.1 as I like to call it, fixed just a few of the issues that users had. Windows 10 undoes more damage. But it's still somewhere midstream of crossing that river. There is still "Settings" and "Control Panel", for instance. Help isn't done. Cortana is ... I can't make up my mind, since it does not work on Surface 3. Windows 10 says the microphone was not designed for Cortana. Which should read "we have not fixed the drivers yet". Work in progress. Take your time.

Could it be Verse?

by Volker Weber

It's been half a year since IBM announced the "freemium" offering of IBM Verse, and almost four months since IBM actually "shipped" it. And with shipping I mean they let the first people on board. My own expectations were rather low, but even those were not met with the actual product. A new way to work? Maybe, but not a better way to work.

Five questions:

  1. Do you know IBMverse.com exists?
  2. Do you have an account?
  3. Do you use it?
  4. Why is there no login link?
  5. Why does it exist?

DNUG schnuck

by Volker Weber

Man stelle sich vor, die Firma habe ein soziales Intranet, aber keiner gehe hin. Oder man stelle sich vor, in Pusemuckel gäbe es eine DNUG-Konferenz, aber niemand ...

Das muss man sich nicht vorstellen, das passiert tatsächlich. Weder das eine noch das andere ist ein Selbstläufer. Stefan Pfeiffer stellt digital naiv in seinem Business Blog seine Meinung, nicht die der IBM, vor. Dabei liegt ihm die Sache sehr am Herzen, weil seine Meinung als Marketing-Verantwortlicher bei IBM schon was bewegen kann. Dem neuen Vorstand gibt er eine ordentliche Portion Hausaufgaben auf: der Name muss weg, die teuren Konferenzen auch, man möge bitte das ganze Produktportfolio der IBM berücksichtigen, lebende Online-Communities sind zu schaffen, die Business Partner müssen ran, mit Kohle und Verstand.

Ich würde es kürzer fassen: Die DNUG ist tot. Hoch lebe ... ja, was eigentlich? Die IBM braucht Hilfstruppen. Wenn sie brav sind, kriegen sie auch was aus der Gulaschkanone. Die Waffen bringen sie aber bitte selbst mit.

Der Erfahrungsaustausch ist wichtig, siehe oben, soziales Intranet. Nur wie das am besten organisiert werden soll, da sind wir jetzt mal gespannt.

Everything in its right place

by Volker Weber

your underlying Google Account won’t be searchable or followable, unlike public Google+ profiles. And for people who already created Google+ profiles but don’t plan to use Google+ itself, we’ll offer better options for managing and removing those public profiles.

'A more focused Google+ experience', Google? Why don't you just admit defeat? Force-feeding Google+ was a terrible idea.

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Stuff that works :: Plantronics Backbeat Pro

by Volker Weber

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While at home I mostly use a Platan ADV, an on-the-ear headset from Urban Ears, but when it comes to traveling, I'm always undecided. On one hand I try to minimize my luggage, down to the number of power supplies I carry (just 1), the wires I need, etc. This time I had a record of five kilograms, including the bag, when leaving home.

But I bit the bullet and chose the massive Plantronics Backbeat Pro, which is a noise-canceling over-the-ear headset. And I was so glad I did. Not only does it sound exceptionally, but it also provides a great deal of isolation. Round trip door-to-door was 15 hours to and 16 hours back, more than 30 hours in total for a two night stay, all due to massive delays and traffic. Without this headset I would have been in quite a bad mood.

Recommended.

Tone Black or White?

by Volker Weber

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I did not have the time to look at the Limited Edition SONOS PLAY:1 Tone speakers while I was away in NYC. But now I have.

Both are absolutely gorgeous and the difference between a regular and one of these Limited Edition speakers is more striking than I expected. You even want to keep the packaging on display. The speakers are covered in soft paint. Even the boxes feel soft to the touch. And I do have a favorite now. While the white speaker is very pure, the black one is my favorite.

Stuff that works :: Olloclip Active Lens

by Volker Weber

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[Click photos for larger versions on Ello]

I have used the new Olloclip lens for most of my Instagrams in New York. Everything is so big or tall that you cannot possibly capture without an ultra-wide angle lens.

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At other times, things are far away and you need a telephoto lens to get a decent picture.

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I have used the ultra-wide angle way more often than the telephoto lens, so if you have a 4-in-1 lens you should be covered for most situations. The Active Lens also does not have macro mode which is useful for capturing tiny details like insects or flower seeds. But as a travel companion the Active Lens is unbeatable. I also recommend the Ollocase, because it protect the phone and will still allow you to attach the lens without having to remove the cover.

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Check out the Olloclip website for other combinations of wide angle, telephoto and CPF lenses. I have never had a bad Olloclip product.

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And here it is ...

by Volker Weber

A few weeks ago I gave you a reverse Alex warning: if you pay in €, buy Sonos now, thank me later. Here is why.

PLAY:1 Tone not sold out

by Volker Weber

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Apparently there wasn't such a big rush to pay 50$/€ extra for a Limited Edition. Sonos still shows availability. I still find very pretty and they will sellt out.

The altar has disappeared

by Volker Weber


Photo: Denon

In the 80s of the last century people would buy home stereos and pile lots of components to "stereo towers". Clarion made similar components that young guns would build into their pre-owned Porsche 911s. Your stereo was an altar. Then came surround systems and the back of an AV receiver became daunting. See photo above. Behind that altar there would a snake's nest of cables. You would own lots of LPs, then CDs, then DVDs and pile them up in racks. Been there, done that. And since then have thrown them all out. I remember buying a 400 CD player that was cheaper than buying decent looking racks for 400 CDs.

Then SONOS came along. At first I would connect a zoneplayer to the altar as a component. It lived with the other components like DVD player, CD player, Radio, DAT recorder, amplifier. Lots of cables that I reorganized with ZIP ties.

All of this is gone. I kept two large Braun speakers and connected them to a Connect:Amp. That is the only echo of the past. I hardly fire it up anymore. Because there is an almost invisible surround built with Sonos components in the same room. And there are many more Sonos speakers throughout the house. Physical media have been replaced by tracks on a storage, hidden away in the cellar. Which is being replaced by streaming services. Equipment no longer matters (compare Ken Rockwell's Measurebator for a fun analogy).

The altar has disappeared. It's the music that takes center stage.

Five million. Or eight million. Or seven.

by Volker Weber

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Almost exactly one year ago I wrote The first million is always the hardest. I had completed my first million steps since I started tracking three months earlier. It took until November to get to three million. In the meantime, my UP24 band broke and I switched to Withings Healthmate. When I got a replacement UP24 Jawbone decided to "upgrade" their software with Clippy, the Smart Coach. Which made me drop the band.

In November I set the goal to walk 10k steps a day and 100 km a week. I am in week 38 and never missed the goal, not even on a single day. Today I completed five million steps on that program. Add the other three and you get to eight million. Minus the one million I reached a year ago. That's the pace: 7 million a year. I no longer need to track steps, but I continue to do anyway. My daily routine now involves this mild exercise and I could not be happier with the results.

Apple Watch has made everything easier. You wear it while also carrying your iPhone and it will calibrate its sensors to your stride. After a while you no longer need to keep carrying the iPhone because it has become very accurate. When you start using the watch to track your activity, set a low goal like 300 calories a day. After a week it will start to nag you to adjust the goal upwards. I have set the goal to 600 which I reach every single day in the early afternoon. When I reach the move goal I have already closed the exercise ring. The stand ring will close later.

For me it's important to get into a "don't break the chain" mode, where I don't allow myself to lapse. Apple has a nice video about that. The important lesson here is that you don't have to be the fastest, the best, the fittest. You just have to try and not give up:

A year ago my ankles were weak and I would often sprain them. My legs were weak and I would feel pain in my knees. When I started walking I would develop blisters on my feet. A year ago I was proud to be able to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Now I can easily walk from Central Park over the bridge into Brooklyn. And back. I have lost more than 50 pounds along the way. And I am much happier now.

On a side note: yes, treat yourself to an Apple Watch. And then start earning it by closing those rings. Every single day.

Infinit

by Volker Weber

When I move files between my computers and phones, most of the times, I just use Infinit. Works on Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows. Once in a while I also share files with other people over Infinit. It's incredibly fast and reliable. Free and unlimited.

Go get it with infinit.me/vowe for 500 MB of permanent storage for links.

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The bring-your-own-device fad is fading

by Volker Weber

'There is a clear move towards a policy of no BYOD,' the report stated. Companies find they can pursue mobility initatives just as well by providing mobile devices to workers 'who are often happy to take a corporate device if it is the same thing they would choose on their own.'

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Should you write Win32 programs or Universal Apps?

by Volker Weber

I asked Microsoft, why developers should be writing Universal Apps instead of Win32 programs. This is the answer:

  1. Windows 10 will support Win32 apps in Store. This is a great way for developers to extend the reach of existing code.
  2. For new apps, we recommend creating Universal Windows Platform apps.
  3. A UWP will run on the full range of Windows 10 devices; tablet, PC, phone and eventually Xbox, IoT and holographic scenarios
  4. Microsoft is offering existing Windows customers a free upgrade to Windows 10, which should in turn give developers a broad common install base relatively quickly

I did not know #1. #2 does not explain why. That's in #3. With a UWP I would give up Windows 7, Vista, XP users. I am not sure about Windows 8.x. But I would gain phones, eventually Xbox, IoT and Hololens. That sound like a big risk.

Discuss.

Sonos Limited Edition PLAY:1 Tone

by Volker Weber

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When I made fun of the Sonos PLAY:1 Blue Note, somebody from Sonos said to me "wait until you see the next limited edition". He knows that I am a sucker for black & white: black floor, white walls, no deco. And he was right. This is how I want a Sonos player to look. Compare with the regular PLAY:1:

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Sonos will sell 5000 each in black and white exclusively through their own online store, starting next Tuesday at 10:00 for 250, $ or €. Two players max per household. Last time Sonos tried to sync all buyers at their door at the same time, the shop crashed. I hope they learned their lesson.

If you ask me, Sonos should adopt the pure design of the Tone edition as the default for all PLAY:1. For those paying in €, make sure you stock up on Sonos before the month is out.

Why is Sonos making these limited editions? Sonos does not have more than one new product per year. PLAY:1 in 2014, err 2013, PLAYBAR also in 2013, SUB in 2012. It's been a long time since they introduced new hardware. So they are filling up this dry spell until the next major thing with limited editions. I have no knowledge what's coming. But if I were Sonos, I would make something that goes to 11.

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The Great Escape

by Volker Weber

Deezer + Vodafone

by Volker Weber

Pressemitteilung:

Wer bis zum 14. Oktober 2015 einen Vodafone-Mobilfunkvertrag der Tarife "Red 3 GB", "Red 8 GB" oder "Red 20 GB" abschließt oder verlängert, erhält für 24 Monate einen Premium+-Zugang für Deezer gratis.

Die zeitlich befristete Promotion von Deezer und Vodafone ergänzt die aktuell verfügbaren Angebote, die unverändert weiterlaufen:

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Zalando, Saftladen

by Volker Weber

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Vor ein paar Wochen habe ich bei Zalando gekauft. Vorbildliche Abwicklung. Einer Zusendung von Newslettern habe ich nicht zugestimmt. Die kamen dann trotzdem. Mit einem Abmeldelink. Und der führt hierhin:

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"Die Abmeldung von allen Werbemails ist bereits erfolgt!" ist eine Lüge. Und Zalando weiß, dass das eine Lüge ist. Siehe oben, die Social Kasper.

[Update] Post von Zalando:

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Sonos 5.4

by Volker Weber

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Sonos has a blog post and a software update:

Summertime, and the Listenin’ is Easy

The software brings new features for Google Play Music, but it's only starting with availability in US, UK, CA and IE. That's not Sonos fault. Ask Google when this becomes available in your country. There are three more changes:

  1. PLAY:1 is going to sound even more amazing.
  2. Ethernet wire becomes optional, even for home theater setups.
  3. CR200 no longer able to setup new players, music services or adjust sound settings.

#2 means you can now build Sonos environments completely over Wifi. Even the more complicated ones. If you have a bridge, fine. Don't change anything. A mesh network is better than a hub-and-spoke Wifi network.

#3 should not piss you off, if you have CR200s. I have three, and I don't care. There is a reason the CR200 is deprecated. But you will only find out with a future software update, that's going to bring new features the CR200 hardware cannot perform. And day in, day out, you are not losing anything. You can still play songs from all music services you set up from your PC, Mac, Android or iOS controllers.

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[Cue Ben Rose complaining about DTS, which isn't the topic of this post, never was, and never will be]

Olloclip Active Lens + Olloclip Case :: First impressions

by Volker Weber

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I have always been a huge fan of the Olloclip lenses, right from the first 3-in-1 lens. But the Active Lens takes the cake. This is the test setup, complete with guard dog. The weather is not particularly nice, a bit rainy and overcast. The iPhone 6 rests in an Olloclip case, that protects the phone and still allows the lens to slide over the iPhone. I mounted this to the tripod via the Shoulderpod accessory. You can either have the 2x Telephoto lens or the ulta-wide angle lens over the main camera. If you slide the contraption to the side, you will have the other lens over the front facing Facetime camera. So that's two lenses for two cameras.

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We have seen this before with the 4-in-1 lens I got lost year for the iPhone 6 Plus. That lens had a wide angle, a fish eye and two macro lenses. These four lenses can make for very interesting shots. But the Active Lens solves a different problem for me when I am traveling: sometimes I need a really wide field of view, sometimes I want a tele that allows me to get closer or to blur out the background. Here is the wide angle in a selfie shot:

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And these are portrait shots with the tele lens. Something the iPhone is usually not good at, because you have to get too close and it's difficult to create a soft background. Nema problema with the Olloclip lens attached.

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The next two photos compare the lenses to the normal field of view of the iPhone main camera. These are just a few quick samples. I will shoot a lot more next week in New York City. The lenses are sharp in the center but get softer towards the sides. That's to be expected. The barrel distortion is noticeable but not as bad as it seems in the first photo. That wall to the left is curved. ;-)

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Moxie's Signal

by Volker Weber

When you use iMessage, your messages are encrypted. When you use WhatsApp, your messages may be encrypted. (Both users need to be on Android.) But when you use Signal, your messages will always be encrypted, no matter whether you are on Android or iPhone.

I installed it on my iPhone. There are not many people on Signal. But the best security professionals I know are.

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HERE for Android Public Beta

by Volker Weber

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We’re kicking off the public beta program on HERE for Android with a new ‘contextual menu’ feature to test; a single, long-press anywhere on the map brings up a shortcut menu to quickly see location information, share a location, get directions or start drive navigation.

Requirements: Android 4.1, 1 GB RAM.

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Microsoft ships Office 2016 Mac to Office 365 subscribers

by Volker Weber

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The difference 500 days make

by Volker Weber

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Hi, it's me. In February of last year and today. About 500 days apart.

Yesterday I suggested I might tone down my posts on fitness and you asked me to continue instead. I heard you loud and clear. And it's very encouraging to hear that I influenced a few of you to make changes to the better.

A weight loss book written by an engineer would be pretty thin: burn calories faster than you eat them. Sounds easy but is kind of hard. One reason is that the system is more complicated than it looks. If you reduce your calorie input, your body takes its foot off the accelerator. And keeps it off. If you go back to the old calorie intake, it's going to store those extra calories in body fat. That's why dieting does not work in the long run.

This is my first time trying to solve the problem on the burn side of the equation. Put your foot on the accelerator, ever so slowly, and then keep it on. I am not trying to lose weight. I am trying to keep the foot on that accelerator.

Habits gradually develop over time, and often you don't know how you ever got into the lifestyle that looks normal. To get out of those habits, I use my interest in gadgets and software. If you want to test fitness trackers, you kind of need to exercise. That's why testing sport watches never worked for me. I am not fit for serious sports. Step tracking was the way to go.

The human body has evolved over tens of thousands of years to be a good walker. Bicycles were introduced in Europe less than 200 years ago, the car only about 100 years ago. That's nothing in evolution. We are all still good walkers, with a little bit of exercise. And that was the moment of surprise. I had no idea how you can transform your body. No idea. I would look at other people and think, I cannot do that. It's not in my genes. But the lesson is, yes, it is in your genes. And it has been for thousands of years. Just get up and start walking.

My most important lesson was: go slowly. You don't know how to listen to your body. If you knew, you wouldn't be where you are. It will take weeks until that changes. I have seen people being so deaf to the messages from their body that they developed stress fractures in their legs from over-exercising.

When you start, exercise on T-days: Tuesday, Thursday, saTurday. However, the most effective schedule for exercise is 3-1-2-1. That means three days of exercise, one day of rest, two days of exercise, one day of rest. That makes up one week. This phase lasted about six months. After those six months I was ready to make a lifestyle change. Do something for the rest of your life. Every single day. That was last November and I decided I wanted to walk ten thousand steps, every single day.

That streak is now 255 days long. I am in my 37th week walking more than a 100 km. Today I passed the 4500 km line. Another 16 weeks will complete the year and take me past 6000 km. I may even make it to 4000 miles.

Setting a realistic goal and then reaching it every day without exception has proven to be the winning formula.

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I have applied that same formula to Activity on the Apple Watch. I have set the Move goal to 600 calories where Activity suggests 1000. I can reach those 600 (outer ring) in the early afternoon, if I start with a 90 minute long walk in the morning, before breakfast. That easily completes the Workout goal of 30 minutes (green ring). The stand goal (blue ring) is a piece of cake. You just have to get up once an hour for a minute. I find it easiest to reach all goals if I try to keep the outer and middle ring in front of the inner one. I usually complete them in the same order: Workout, Move, Stand. My weekly move is around 7000 calories, but it varies by day, between 600 and 1200. Setting it to a thousand would mean I cannot reach it every day.

One comment on the calorie intake side of things. You want that extra Big Mac? No problem. That's 530 calories. Just keep walking another 90 minutes. Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese? That's 720 calories or two hours. Big Breakfast with Hotcakes? 1150 calories or between three and four hours. A side of Large French Fries? 510. And then finish it off with a Large Vanilla Shake? 820 calories.

Or maybe, you don't really need all that food. Listen to your body.

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Windows on Phones started to smell funny today

by Volker Weber

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Microsoft never gives up. You knock them down and they get up. Each time you knock them down, they come back stronger. And with the third version, everything is going to be great.

But things have changed. Microsoft is no longer the juggernaut, when it comes to mobile. A low single digit market share, only made possible with cheap handsets that don't generate much profit. Steve Ballmer wanted to turn Microsoft into a company that learns from Apple's greatest strength: vertical integration of hardware, software and services. For Ballmer it all rested on Windows. That's why Microsoft created Surface. A device that would make Windows 8 shine. And he bought the phone business from Nokia, the greatest phone company in the world.

But Ballmer is no more. And neither is Nokia, at least not as we know it. The market is still confused about Microsoft Mobile and Nokia. Who is selling these $20 simple handsets pictured above? (Answer: Microsoft)

Satya Nadella does not need Windows on phones to deliver his vision. He is perfectly fine with Android and iOS. I am pretty sure that the same is true for developers and all those startups that need an app. The ship is turning, as fast as it can. Office 365 works great with iOS and now also with Android.

Microsoft has to win back users for the Windows 10 platform. Windows 8 was a failure, much like Vista was. Unlike in years past however, now there are other options. IBM is in bed with Apple. Not only have they opened up the enterprise channel for Apple and created business software for iOS. They are also deploying Apple notebooks, big time.

That's the war that Microsoft needs to win. They must not lose the enterprise. And for that, they have to cut their losses.

Yes, Microsoft has new devices in the delivery pipe. They were supposed to come out with Windows 10. But then Microsoft fumbled the ball once more. Windows 10 isn't nearly ready for delivery on phones. As Apple is about to rev their iPhone 6/6+ Microsoft is still on a platform that was announced by Nokia in 2013. Who expects them to deliver better and faster with thousands of people let go in the phone business?

This starts to smell like HP buying Palm.

Stuff that works :: iPhone 6 Plus with Logitech Keys-to-go keyboard

by Volker Weber

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Two weeks from now I will be flying to New York City for two nights. And I plan to travel with just the iPhone and the Logitech Keys-to-go keyboard*. This has proven to be a really great combination to get work done. The iPhone camera is excellent, it has all the software I need. And the Logitech keyboard provides a great way to augment the only weakness: I need to be able to type more than a few sentences. I have a number of these BT keyboards but the Logitech device is just the lightest, simplest, yet still workable solution. It needs a recharge maybe twice a year. Brilliant.

*) OK, I might bring a BlackBerry as backup. I always do. ;-)

Update: Gerhard asked if I use a stand? Nope, I try to work with simple items I can find anywhere. Here are a few ideas how to prop up an iPhone. CD jewel cases used to be great stands, but nobody has them anymore.

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And of course, you always know where your towel is. Great stand for an iPhone.

Annoyed by iPhone calls and text messages on your other devices?

by Volker Weber

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When Apple introduces new features, they just switch them on. How else would you learn about them? That's the exact opposite of enterprise IT admins. They block all new features to keep the support calls and the risk down. ;-)

Anyway, if you are one of these admins, you can swith those new features off for yourself too. Case in point: when your iPhone rings, your other devices like your Mac or iPad start ringing with the same call. Facetime is doing that, if you are logged in with the same Apple ID. No need to get a second ID. Just go into Settings/Facetime and disable "iPhone Cellular Calls". Same for text messages: Settings/Messages/Text Message Forwarding.

And finally, if you want to disable this on your Mac individually, again in Facetime settings:

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Why I am doing this

by Volker Weber

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Martin is annoyed because I am posting too much about fitness:

... einerseits bin ich inzwischen beinahe von der Häufigkeit deiner Beiträge zum Thema Fitness genervt, anderseits ...

Martin is probably right and I am going to tone it down a bit. But maybe I should explain why I am doing it. It started with an interest in fitness trackers. And you have to watch geeks testing fitness trackers. They always show step counts in the 4000 to 6000 range. Along the way I discovered how much physical activity improves my life and that made me dial up the frequency of my posts.

If you have always been active, if you are not grossly overweight, if you walk for an hour a day anyway, if you run three times a week, then this is not for you. These postings are for my former self. Couch potato, staring at screens all day long, mostly reading, sometimes writing.

If you get up in the morning, drive your 4WD to the office, sit on your ass almost the whole day, then this is for you. You have no idea how much better your life could be. No idea.

The photos above? That's what I see in the early morning, before breakfast. Walking has improved my physical health and my mental health. In the words of the incomparable Yogi Nora: If I can do it, then you can do it.

Wie man mich am besten nicht erreicht

by Volker Weber

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Heute habe ich mal in Facebook reingeschaut und eine Nachricht gefunden. In Xing oder LinkedIn mache ich das auch hin und wieder mal. Das sind alles Netzwerke, bei denen man getrost eine Nachricht hinterlegen kann, die ich später irgendwann erhalte. De-Mail habe ich nicht, das wäre ähnlich gut.

Die zweitbeste Möglichkeit, mich nicht zu erreichen, ist zum Beispiel Skype oder iMessage. Sowas kommt manchmal auf einem Gerät an, das ich nicht "am Mann habe". SMS fällt in die gleiche Kategorie, weil die auf genau einem Telefon ankommt. Ganz normale Telefonanrufe sind auch nicht optimal. Ich merke spätestens nach einem Tag, dass da ein Telefon geklingelt hat.

Ganz schlecht ist Email. Die erreicht mich sofort.

BlackBerry Venice

by Volker Weber

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Evan Blass (@evleaks) says this is the Android powered BlackBerry Slider. The screen appears to be similar to a Samsung S6 edge. This render shows a stock Android experience, but I expect Samsung to deliver something like BlackBerry Hub as an extension to Android.

Evan has an excellent track record as far as leaks go.

Surface 3 (4G LTE) is coming

by Volker Weber

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The first Surface 3 (4G LTE) devices went on sale in Japan two weeks ago through Y!Mobile. We’re happy to announce Surface 3 (4G LTE) will become available to business customers through the first partner operators on July 3rd in Germany and the United Kingdom, and later, in France and Spain. These will include Deutsche Telekom in Germany, Orange Business Services in France, as well as O2 in the United Kingdom and Movistar in Spain - both members of the Telefónica Company.

I love this machine. And with LTE it becomes even more versatile.

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Beats 1 stream URLs

by Volker Weber

I managed to retrieve the Beats 1 audio stream links that can be accessed outside of the iOS Music app and iTunes 12.2

Doesn't work on Sonos, since Sonos does not support HLS streaming. Here is something that Sonos now needs to work on if they want to support Apple Music.

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The Ello Bill of Rights

by Volker Weber

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To encourage an atmosphere of responsibility and transparency, while creating the most positive social network experience, Ello has created this bill of rights for all social network users.

This is exactly how I want a social network to be.

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Ceci n'est pas un blog

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

vowe

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